Pahang has the largest number of Indigenous people. They are divided into three main groups comprising nine sub-tribes: the Proto-Malay (Jakun, Temuan and Semelai); the Senoi (Temiar, Semai, Jah Het, Che Wong and Semoq Beri); and the Negrito (Bateq).
iv. Jakun – districts of Pekan and Rompin
v. Semelai – districts of Tasek Bera, Sungai Teriang and Paya Besar
vi. Temuan – districts of Bentong, Raub and Temerloh
Senoi settlements are as follows:
vi. Semai – districts of Cameron Highlands and Raub
vii. Temiar – district of Cameron Highlands
viii. Jah Hĕt – districts of Temerloh and Jerantut
ix. Che Wong – districts of Temerloh and Raub
x. Semoq Beri – districts of Jerantut and Maran
For the Bateq tribe of the primary Negrito group, many of them are settled in the areas of Ulu Tembeling and Taman Negara, Jerantut, and several other areas in Kuala Lipis.
Orang Asli Handicrafts
The Orang Asli communities have contributed greatly to Malaysia’s inimitable cultural make-up. Their philosophy of life is manifested in their customs, religions and beliefs in the cosmology; and taboos that dictate their behaviours and interactions with nature. Their own distinctive identity and singularity are aptly illustrated in their works of art, often inspired by their harmonious co-existence with nature as highlighted in their extraordinary level of creativity and art forms.
Their art is influenced by animist beliefs and ritual practices. They produce objects for use in certain rituals from forest resources such as wood and bamboo.
The wooden figurines and masks of the Jah Het and Mah Meri tell the stories of their tribes and their beliefs which are immersed in nature. An existence surrounded by the bounty of nature has contributed much to the way of how the Orang Asli fashion their basic tools of necessity. They use tools such as spears and blowpipes for hunting, tree barks as clothes and kercang as a toy to pass the time.
Mat weaving is one of the most important activities for the Orang Asli women. Their intricate handicrafts are derived from rituals exclusive to every group. Apart from producing woven mats, they also produce woven purses, strainers, salt and pepper shakers and much more.